By Amber Hart
The Green Team was started during the 2008-09 school year. The Green Team recycles, host dorm wars, have green basketball games, and do different types of educational and fun activities for earth week.
Jason Speegle, Green Team director, applied for a grant in the Wind for Schools Program in attempt to win a wind turbine at the end of the semester last year. The Wind for Schools Program was created by Southwest Energy out of Flagstaff, Ariz. A local business, Cate’s Supply, brought this opportunity to Speegle’s eye.
Speegle found out over the summer that Southwestern College won the turbine. All the Green Team had to pay for was the wiring and the foundation. A wind turbine helps collect solar wind energy and stores it to help power buildings or anything else that one would like to power. The wind turbine is powering part of the Dixon Operating Center, Reid Hall, and White PE.
“We had to choose an area that was out in the open to get the best result for the turbine,” said Speegle. They will be able to determine how much the turbine saves the college on the electricity bill. The turbine is rated to generate 400 kilowatts.
The students on the Green Team are excited for the new addition to the campus as well.
“Overall, I’m really excited about the new wind turbine, what it stands for, and what it can do for the campus,” said Sydnee Nelson, biochemistry junior. “The only thing that dampens my excitement is that there will be people who won’t understand the significance of a wind turbine being placed on campus and I hope that we can find ways to spread the word about how the turbine enhances the campus and how great this change is.”
Sarah Rommelfanger, biology junior, said the installation of the new wind turbine is one of the biggest steps the Green Team has taken toward carbon neutrality. “I was very excited when Jason told me that we had been selected to receive it. I was sorry that it couldn’t have happened during the school year so that the whole student body would have the opportunity to see it go up as a symbol of all the hard work we’ve put in.” said Rommelfanger.
Speegle hopes that this isn’t the only turbine that SC gets. He plans on getting more that are larger. Speegle said, “It is a huge symbol of effort. It is the first visible step of our goal to achieve having no carbon foot print.” Speegle said he wishes the campus would help with activities and programs to go green.
The Green Teams plans for this year are to bring in high schools from around the area to present information about wind energy and how it’s used and how it is good for the environment. Also, they are installing smart syncs systems that monitor the amount of energy used in the dorms and host a competition to determine which dorm uses the least energy.
They started new single-stream recycling this year as well. All recyclables are placed in one container. The company whom picks everything up shares the profit with the community to helps to support youth programs.
Amber Hart is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at Amber.Hart@sckans.edu.